Illinois Democrats declared Thursday “D-Day” as they rallied the troops once more to close out the Democratic National Convention — and to send party members home with a plan of political attack.
“Today is D-Day. For four years we have resisted with every fiber of our being and every tool at our disposal against the attacks by President Trump and his allies,” state Democratic Party executive director Mary Morrissey said. “The time is now — we must mobilize. … Every hour of every day between now and Nov. 3, we need to ask ourselves, what we are doing to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris?”
West suburban U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, facing a tough race of her own to hold onto her seat in the conservative 14th Congressional District, counted down 75 days till the election.
“At this point, our postal service is on the ballot. Our democracy and the values that we hold dear are on the ballot,” Underwood said during the delegation’s final virtual program. “Between now and Sept. 24 we need to talk to our friends, our neighbors and our family members about how to vote safely from home. … And from Sept. 24 onwards, you need to have those conversations again, but this time, we have to make sure our friends and neighbors return their ballots as soon as possible.”
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker made an appearance on the local webinar and — when he wasn’t poking fun at Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin over his supposed penchant for junk food — said party members need “to bring more moral imagination.”
“We’ve got to think creatively about how we can do even more, because this moment demands more. People being deported from our country separated from their families — they demand more.”
Even embattled Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, a man of exceedingly few words across five nights of local delegation programming, offered an end-of-convention hurrah.
“Tomorrow, we get back to work,” said Madigan, who chairs the state party. “Let’s take the anger and the anguish of the last four years and channel it into calls, text messages and emails to our friends. Let’s pass the ‘fair tax’ and even the playing field for workers and families across the state. Let’s vote by mail to make sure that those ballots are turned in early, and come January 2021, we can all celebrate — turning the page, one of the worst presidencies in the history of our country, and elect the Democrats from the top to the bottom.”
And after saying “people are yearning to be heard and seen” through this year’s election, Gov. J.B. Pritzker made his own pitch for his graduated income tax initiative on the Illinois ballot Nov. 3.
“I hope you’ll bring all that energy to the job of transforming Illinois and making our tax system more fair for the middle class, and those who are striving to get there,” Pritzker said.
As for locking down the often elusive bloc of young voters, Arielle Maffei, president of the Young Democrats of Illinois, said the youth “are walking the walk to manifest our vision for our Illinois” by aiming to register 10,000 new voters.
“And the one thing that I hope is loud and clear is that we have placed a priority, and engaging and changing the world for the better,” Maffei said.